Prof. Dr RWIGAMBA Balinda, Founder and President of ULK
Following the decision by the Cabinet Meeting that schools in Rwanda will reopen in September 2020, Kigali Independent University ULK convened a meeting in which heads of units were briefed on the mechanisms towards sustaining the welfare of employees during this closure period.
As underscored by Prof. Dr. RWIGAMBA Balinda, the Founder and President of ULK, all employees with no exception will continue to earn some amount of money on a monthly basis after penning a special contract stipulating salary deduction modalities.
“I’d like to let you know that no single employee will be sacked or suspended. Instead, we’re going to share the savings made over the last period of time so as to see how we can all overcome the overarching effects of COVID-19”, he told the participants.
He added that supporting workers earning less than one hundred fifty thousand Rwandan francs (150,000Frw) will not be affected by the expected salary deduction which will extend over five months. Those under deduction scheme are administrative staff, lecturers and officials of the university.
Employees welcomed with both hands the good news that they will not be laid off during this difficult period. To this, they wholeheartedly thanked the Founder and President with his family and they pledged to continue working hard for the betterment of ULK.
Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, Vice Chancellor of ULK
In his remarks, Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, the Vice Chancellor of ULK, commended the spirit of humanity showcased by the Founder and President of ULK, Prof. Dr. RWIGAMBA Balinda. He went further to reiterate that ICT is the backbone of any human realization in today’s era.
“This pandemic caught the world unaware. This therefore calls for comprehensive measures meant to sustain and scale up activities with no shortcoming registered. Hence Information Technology remains a reliable tool to be used by both lecturers and learners. That’s why everybody should make it a priority. Like in our case here at ULK the necessary infrastructure such as ULK E-learning Platform, Digital Library, IT Team, have been availed”, said the Vice Chancellor. He kept on urging all learners to earnestly follow their facilitators via the ULK E-learning Platform.
Dr. KARAMBIZI Sylvestre, the Principal of ULK Polytechnic Institute
The Principal of ULK Polytechnic Institute (UPI) Dr. KARAMBIZI Sylvestre appealed to lecturers to continue assisting learners by creating a conducive e-learning environment to enable learners to remain on track.
ULK has set a pace in the area of e-learning geared towards facilitating learners during this off-school period.
During the event, some minutes were set aside to throw some light on the ongoing e-learning support rendered to learners in their respective homes. The lecturers and IT Team statistically showed how this mode of supporting is massively attended. This vindicates how learners are interested in the system. However not all is a bed of roses: all of them do not have facilities such as laptops, smart-phones, internet bundles, and the like.
Debates are some of the academic activities that give students the creative room to express what they feel. The length and breadth of knowledge that they gain through this is simply unparalleled.
Kigali Independent University ULK has set the benchmark for conducting such activities in a way that the students not only enjoy but also learn a great deal from it. With the same perspective in view, the Inter-university debate competition was held at Mount Kenya University on 6th March 2020 to discuss the role of the youth in influencing tax justice in Rwanda.
ULK Students during the Debate competition
With Mount Kenya University hosting and the topic chosen to be ‘Tax Justice’ Youth for Tax Justice; the event brought together speakers from various universities namely: Kigali Independent University ULK, Adventist University of Central Africa (AUCA), University of Rwanda (UR) and Mount Kenya University. In actual fact, the competition was open to all universities across the country but only those ones expressed their readiness to compete.
Some participants argued for the motion and some against the motion. The teams were well prepared and they used various skills like overstatement, definition, rhetoric, irony, etc. to convince the audience. The participants, armed with statistics and data validated and made their arguments more emphatic with right facial expressions, body movements, and gestures. The ULK Debate Club was represented by Olivier CHRIS, Divine ABAYO, and Fred GASANA.
ULK Student Divine ABAYO during the Debate
All the teams exhibited great oratorical skills. They put in tremendous hard work to showcase their inner talent. The debaters displayed confidence in presenting their arguments before the audience.
ULK team was declared the winner of the debate competition
At the end of the heated and interesting debate, Kigali Independent University ULK was declared the winner and the winning team was offered a fully sponsored trip to the regional competitions slated this year in one of the East African member states. Besides, all participants were awarded certificates of participation. Vote of thanks was delivered and the day concluded on a joyous note.
Presentation of the trophy in the office of Vice-Chancellor
On 11th March 2020, Rwanda national police trained ULK/Gisenyi Campus Community On how fire extinguisher is used in case of immanency. It was in line with sensitization on the ‘GERAYO AMAHORO” campaign. Led by Assistant commissioner of police Paulin KALISA, a team of police demonstrated different methods of preventing conflagration.
Lawyer ISHEMA Pierre, coordinator of Academic affairs introducing the guest
To get the ball rolling, Lawyer ISHEMA Pierre, coordinator of Academic Affairs, introduced the guest to the audience and bade everyone in attendance to be all ears on grounds of the relevancy of the training from Rwanda national police on how to fight against conflagration.
Assistant commissioner of police, Paulin Kalisa addressing the audience.
As matter of fact, ACP Paulin Kalisa, explained to the audience that fire may be caused by different things such as gas leakage, petrol, paraffin, or wind, oxygen, hotness, to mention but a few. “To protect the environment Rwanda government has implemented the use of GAS but many citizens don’t know how they can manage fire extinguishment in the case of emergency. When using gas we need to open doors and windows to avoid its busts, to put a part such as burning cigarettes, candle, to mention but a few” He said.
The different demonstration was displayed
In addition, while using gas, the gas detector is tremendously necessary. Sometime it may produce fire due to damaged propane tank (air going out) here if you don’t have fire extinguisher you can even use your wet hand towel and cover it to extinguish the fire to avoid conflagration.
Demonstration and practices on how to extinguish the fire in case of emergency
The main hall was full to its capacity.
As a university that believes that academic excellence is inevitable, Kigali Independent University ULK does all it takes to meet this aspiration. It is against this background that on 9th March 2020, a seminar to train all final year students was organized.
Speaking to students, Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, the Vice-Chancellor of Kigali Independent University ULK, told them that the move to train final year students on research skills came after realizing that every lecturer was trying to stick to their own research guidelines, something that was not perceived as a pretty sight.
“What we’ve realized is that every lecturer was coming with their own research guidelines and we found it good to stop such a practice by introducing the harmonized research guidelines to be followed by every lecturer and student”, he told the students.
Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, the Vice-Chancellor of Kigali Independent University ULK Speaking to students
The seminar was conducted by high profile academicians such as Dr. GASHEMA Bruce, Dr. RWABUTOGO Zogeye Marcel, Prof. George Okello to mention but a few.
As Dr. RWABUTOGO said, a student cannot successfully complete his/her research work if the supervisor is not fully dedicated to helping. He, therefore, reiterated that both the student and supervisor should meet at least twice a month to make corrections and decide the way forward together.
Dr. RWABUTOGO Zogeye Marcel Speaking to students
“These guidelines urge supervisors and students to meet at least twice a month for more improvement of the research work. With such a regular schedule, the student ends up understanding clearly the whole process of writing a dissertation; thus the quality of the work”, he told the trainees.
As for Prof. Okello, his research tips mainly centered on methodology. As he said, the methodology is the backbone of any research work as it embodies the techniques used to collect data which makes it possible to come up with the findings of the work.
“Methodology is the backbone of research. In this section, techniques such as desk review, interview, questionnaire, observation, and others are used to effectively feed the section with information. You, therefore, need to be conversant with the way methodology is written so as to produce quality dissertations”, he advised them.
The trainees proved to have acquired new and interesting things which will help them complete their dissertations without any hassle when the due time comes.
On 21st February 2020, ULK/Gisenyi Campus Community gathered to witness the swearing-in ceremony of AGEULK New Committee. On the same occasion, there was a handover ceremony, whereby the outgoing committee passed the lead to the new one.
Traditional dancers were celebrating the event
As a matter of fact, the event was graced by folk songs and traditional dances, not forgetting the presence of Guild Presidents from other institutions of higher learning; UTB/Rubavu, INES/Ruhengeri, IPRC/Musanze, IPRC/Tumba, UNGOM just to mention but a few.
Different ministers of AGE-ULK swearing
Have now taken the lead: MAZIMPAKA Prince (Guild President), MUTABAZI Heritier (Vice President), CYIZA Yvonne (General Secretary), MUNYANA Aline (Treasurer), to mention but a few.
Mr. MAZIMPAKA Prince, the new Guild President swearing
In his address, the new Guild President, who took over Mr. MAZIMPAKA Prince, expressed his gratitude to the students for having invested their trust in him by voting for him. He subsequently, gave a brief account of what he and the team under his leadership have pledged to achieve throughout their mandate. Most importantly, he pledged that they stand more than ready to do their utmost to satisfy the students they will be representing.
“First and foremost, I wish to thank you all, I mean the students who voted for me. My team and I have set a good action plan and we stand more than ready to achieve it. My team and I are going to do all it could cost to satisfy you with our hard and honest work.” This will be achieved.
Director of finance and administration, KARARA Alex addressing to participants.
Speaking on the occasion, the Director of finance and administration, KARARA Alex, who was the guest of honor, on behalf of ULK senior management, thanked the outgoing committee for having successfully accomplished their mission. Besides, he thanked them for having been collaborative with the university’s officials throughout their mandate. He continues thanking the ongoing committee for their acceptance of the leadership and vows vowed to fulfill their duties and responsibilities. “God himself will ask you the accountability of each and every task assigned and pledged before your fellow students whom you are going to serve. Therefore you need to play your role and we, management committee play ours”. He said.
Certificates of merit were given to the outgoing committee
“God almighty himself is the real founder of Kigali Independent University”
This statement was uttered by the president and founder of Kigali Independent University, Prof. Dr. RWIGAMBA Balinda addressing to the students of ULK/Gisenyi campus this Wednesday 19th February 2020. This is in line with the habit of the President and Founder to meet students from ULK/ Gisenyi campus on a quarterly basis.
Lawyer ISHEMA Pierre, coordinator of Academic affairs introducing the guest
To get the ball rolling, Lawyer ISHEMA Pierre, coordinator of Academic Affairs, introduced the guest to the audience and bade everyone in attendance to be all ears on grounds of the relevancy of the advice from the President and Founder.
Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, the Vice-Chancellor of ULK delivering an introductory note.
As long as some students in this academic year of 2019-2020 had not met the President and Founder, an introductory note had been made by the Vice-Chancellor of ULK, Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, who also opened the event by a word of prayer and invited the President and Founder to deliver his message.
The presidents and founder of ULK, addressing the audience
In his speech, the president and founder of Kigali Independent University, Prof. Dr. RWIGAMBA Balinda thanked each and every stakeholder especially students for their right choice they had made.
“You had made the right choice dear students, since ULK is the second University in Rwanda as it is arranged according to web ranking and we are striving for excellence so that we keep the first rank in not only Rwanda but also Africa”. Said the president and founder of ULK.
He continued his remarks by providing a number of secrets play an unquestionable role in the effective learning of students. They include but not limited to, regular class interactive participation, group work, personal regular studies, the mastery of the four English skills, the master of computer skills, the endowment of ethical values, to mention but a few.
“It is our duties and responsibilities to provide you with the best lecturers and avail the best facilities to help you learn effectively. Therefore, you should make a good use of all this by maximizing the record of your class attendance, mastering English skills, ICT skills and upholding ethical values….” the President and Founder told the students.
The president and founder climaxed his remarks by praying for all ULK/Gisenyi community.
Prepared by ULK CELA office /Gisenyi Campus
On 17th February 2020, the Founder and President of ULK, Prof. Dr. RWIGAMBA Balinda, addressed the entire community of ULK on quality whereby he reminded them that quality service delivery is a must.
The message by this high profile university official came after some students decried poor services rendered to them especially when it comes to withdrawing some academic documents. As the Founder and President said, the institution is built on ethical values and it cannot tolerate whoever renders bad services to service seekers.
“Our values can’t allow us to tolerate whoever gives poor services. In a seminar convened recently, we reminded our staff members that tolerance is zero to those serving the institution poorly and we have started walking the talk”, he told the participants.
“To effectively render you good services, we have registered our staff members with each of them handed a badge number for you to easily tell who underserved you and report them promptly for appropriate measures to be taken”, he added.
The Founder and President went further to tell the students that they are the ones to give the management of the university a tipoff of where bad service is being rendered so that the employee behind the poor service may be corrected accordingly.
“We need your involvement in this serious issue. Singlehandedly we can’t tell where bad services are being given. If you find someone rendering bad services, give us a call or text us. All you need is simply mentioning the number on the employee’s badge and we will deal with him accordingly”, he told the students who welcomed the move with thunderous clapping.
He also reminded the students that Kigali Independent University ULK always tops the ladder in the ranking of private higher learning institutions in Rwanda and that with such a positive reputation the institution cannot tolerate those tarnishing its good image.
“This institution of ours always ranks the best private university in Rwanda. Therefore, we can’t allow people to tarnish this good image through poor service delivery. We will always show poor service deliverers the exit so as to pave the way for those who can serve the institution satisfactorily”, he stressed.
Towards the end of his message, he reminded the students that the secret for academic success lies in how regularly they attend class, the regular personal and group study they conduct, the mastery of ICT and English skills, the endowment of ethical values, to mention but a few.
It should be noted that the message was given to both day and evening students.